Mark’s Miscellaneous Monday – Gail Werner w/ Jasmine Star, Fav Holiday Music, Burning calories


Gail Werner guest posts on Jasmine Star Blog

One of my favorite things about being a wedding photographer is all the amazing people I get to me, be it wonderful clients, other area vendors or other photographers around the country.   Two years ago I attended a photographers get together that not only had a big impact on how I do business, but how I live my life these days.  One of those at that meeting was Indiana wedding photographer Gail Werner.

That’s Gail in the lower left in the yellow sweater and huge smile, and that’s me in the gray shirt just about dead center.   If you didn’t know me back then, yeah that was really me.

Gail became not only a friend but a huge supporter in my journey to loose weight – and nothing I can do will ever be able to thank those supporters for all the courage and strength they have given me over the last two years as I’ve lost 180 pounds and transformed my life.

Now I’m also quite the blog reader and have probably about 50 photographers blogs that I read on a regular basis either to admire their work or I just love the way they write on their blog.   Jasmine Star is one of the blog writers that I love to read, although her work isn’t that bad either.

Now you add these two people together and you have the wonderful result of Gail guest posting on Jasmine Star’s blog.  Gail’s article is all about having a full time job and pursuing a photography career as well.   Some of the time management tips I think even full time photographers like myself can benefit greatly from and highly recommend all photographers, or anybody running a creative business on the side of a regular day job.

Having a full time job and pursuing a photography business

I’d suggest either of their blogs as a regular read if you just want to read some  really well written photography blogs.

Jasmine Star Photography Blog

Gail Werner Photography Blog


Favorite Holiday Music

After talking about my favorite holiday movies last week I decided I also wanted to share some of my favorite holiday music.   Not being able to decide between favorite songs or favorite albums I opted to do both.

Favorite Holiday Albums

5)  A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Linus and Lucy piano riff has become a classic holiday must play.   The entire album brings back warm and fuzzy childhood feelings.

4) Harry for the Holidays – Harry Connick Jr.

If you’re not a Harry Connick Jr. fan you’ll pass on this one, and if you are, well you probably already have this one.

3) A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 1

Depending on your age and taste of music it might be one of the later volumes you prefer, but this is a great album series to her some amazing holiday music from people who aren’t the usual types to put out a full album of holiday music.

Merry Christmas Baby – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – this alone is worth the price of the album.   Add in Sting with Gabriel’s Message, and John Mellencamp on I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and it’s just awesome.

2) Christmas with the Rat Pack

Just for the record the Rat Pack is a little before my time, but there’s something about the way Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Sammy Davis Jr. best out some of these holiday favorites I just love.

1) Christmas Eve and Other Stories by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

While it was tempting for me to make the three TSO christmas albums for spots 1, 2, and 3 – I opted to just list this one as #1 due to its wonderful content and the way it plays through as an album instead of just a collection of songs.

Christmas Eve Sarajevo, Good King Joy, and Old City Bar are some of my favorite songs and from November until early January it will be in heavy rotation on my home system.

Favorite Individual Holiday Songs

#5)  White Christmas – Bing Crosby  – He is mister Christmas and I love this song.

#4) Mr. Heat Miser – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Mixing childhood memories with Big Bad VooDoo Daddy – awesome.

#3) Baby It’s Cold Outside – the mix with Dean Martin and Martina McBride is my absolute favorite version of this song

#2) Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy – David Bowie and Bing Crosby.
I was watching that Bing Crosby special in 1977 (his last Bing passed away in the time between recording the special and it’s airing a few weeks later).   This was like 5 years before Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” album brought him fully into the main stream and he was still most likely best known for  his Ziggy Stardust persona (or the White Duke persona of the mid 70’s) and the idea of Bowie doing a holiday special – with Bing Crosby – was just mind blowing at the time.   With what likely disgusted both hard core Bing and Bowie fans at first the song  Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy has become a staple holiday favorite.

#1) Christmas Eve Sarajevo – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
My all time favorite song without a doubt – and with exactly 1 week to go before TSO’s Denver concert (row 5 seats baby) it’s hitting the home sound system 2-3 times a day right now.


Bodybugg Calorie Burns

As part of my weight loss and fitness program I wear a bodybugg – a device that tracks calories burned during the day.   I wanted to compare two days and just give an idea of how much work it can be being a wedding photographer.

June of 2010 – my weight was still over 300 pounds.   I made it to the gym in the morning and then shot a 9 hour wedding later that day.

Just shy of 4900 calories for the day.   Pretty impressive amount of calories burned for a wedding – of course keep in mind there’s two hours of sweat pouring gym time in there as well and since I was still around 300 pounds I just burned more calories doing everything – it takes more energy to move more weight.

A few weeks ago during my morning run I decided to push it to a new level and ran 13.1 miles.   That’s right – a half marathon.

Only about 60 more calories burned running a half marathon than two hours in the gym plus a big wedding.   Of course for the marathon I was 70 pounds lighter or so and all those calories where burned in just over 3 hours.   Still it kinda shows just how much work a wedding can be to cover.

Of course if wedding photographers burn so many calories how come all wedding photographers aren’t svelte looking athletes?   Well counter those 8 hour weddings with 40 hours of sitting at a computer most working days, and then just horrible eating habits – lets face it after a wedding like that you’re starving (because you probably didn’t even get time to eat your boxed vendor meal) and what’s open at 11pm?  Fast food.   For all that burn if I’m starving when I roll into some burger joint I can totally wipe out that burn with a triple bacon burger, large fries, and large chocolate shake.  Well at least I used to – these days at weddings I live on power bars and vitamin water zero’s.

1 comment
  • Ahhhhh Mark! Thanks so much for this sweet post of yours. It means a ton! And gosh, I can’t believe that workshop was already 2 years and 180 pounds ago! SO proud of you! Wishing you and your family an awesome Christmas 🙂